jaliberti - it was used as a substrate, yes. Given the relative lack of info on blackwater setups, I'm sort of guessing a little and working by feel. Nice to know that there's still a long way to go before really getting into the acid side of things. As long as I'm below 7.5 right now, I'm good. I went to the peat for it's lack of addition to the overall tank KH, so that'll do for now. I need the plants right now as food and spawning sites, so I can't get too much darker or even 4 T5HOs aren't going to cut it.
Edward - I'm definitely setting this up as a breeding tank more than anything else. The otos need plants as spawning sites, and the tank needs to be at least somewhat attactive since it's in the main part of our house, but that's the extent of my real desire for its planted-ness.
I've found the swords in particular start to suffer if I don't supplement something, so I've been fertilizing moderately.